Photos: August 2009 Archives

We do a lot of this around here


... because there's a toy he wants in it.

Ewan has been carrying around a Target magazine from March because there's a toy advertised in it that he's been lobbying us to buy him. He was reading the prices aloud to Liam.

Ewan has been carrying around a Target magazine from March ...

Liam has already figured out how to subcontract his chores out to Ewan for a depressed wage. Ewan thinks any money, even a penny, is a miraculous thing, and he will put away all of Liam's clean clothes for two cents. 

"I hope he never learns math," Liam told me yesterday.
Liam likes scary stories

I told him that it would take Ewan for forever to buy the toy he wanted at that rate. (Sort of the idea. He has too many.) 

Liam sighed. "I'll buy it for him then," and retrieved the correct amount of money from his bulldog wallet. 

"Thanks, Liam!" Ewan beamed. 

First day of third grade

Day one

... and kindergarten, simultaneously. I've been gearing up to teach two children two different subjects at the same time for a while now. Even though we go year-round with a few breaks here and there, and our house is a lab of learning, today certainly felt like dress rehearsal for two was over. 


Thankfully Liam is patient and can tackle about any assignment I give him without problems. Ewan, on the other hand, likes to climb into your brain and scratch your out the walls of your skull like a squirrel in a tree. (I love him to bits.) He challenges you to challenge him and rewards you with a demonstration of just how smart he really is. He is the most strong-willed child I have ever encountered in my entire life and sometimes I wonder if he's possessed by Donald Trump. No, he doesn't want to write the letter U that way, what is wrong with you? He wants to write them HIS way. Later when he thinks you're not looking he'll write them the correct way and insist that it was HIS way all along. Oh, and also, YOU'RE FIRED. 


Liam resumes his art, Spanish, and gym classes shortly. In a couple of years he'll be old enough to take the science labs associated with our homeschool group, although, I have a secret desire to just order a bunch of lab equipment and turn the dining room into a mad scientist's lair. I did that as a kid; I concocted on-going "experiments" with all my mom's cosmetics and stored them under my bed. The old woman who sat for me one summer, Mrs. Shoe, found them and I thought she was going to whoop me to death. I outran her anyway; the way her knee-high support hose fell down around her ankles when she walked fast was a blessing. 


A few quick things while my afternoon coffee infusion kicks in:
- We're using ABeka this year, again. I love their curriculum and Liam has done so well with it. We are supplementing with Usbourne books, too.

Books on the piano bench

- I use Homeschool Tracker to log all my hours, keep track of curriculum, completed assignments, et al. I researched the various types of software before deciding on this one; it's easy to use, easy to add resources; the basic version is free and the paid version is a good value compared to some others I've seen. I highly recommend it. My only gripe is that there isn't such software for Macs; they're all for PC. I'm running the Homeschool Tracker off my old Dell which isn't the height of convenience, but it's better right now than trying to run it off Parallels or VMware Fusion. The Mac programmer that decides to create such a software for us homeschool Mac users deserves a ticker-tape parade. 

Logging software

- A couple years ago I tried to use a corner of the kids' playroom as the classroom but it was miserable and we hated trekking all the way up to the top of the house for it so we're all back in the dining room. I like it better here anyway, because I'm that much closer to my French Press.

It wasn't such a bad summer

late august evening

It is an evening in August. 

The orchestra of cicadas is all I hear, louder even than the boys in the yard jousting with sticks shed by the tree during last night's storm. They sound like some tiny 80s synth band hidden somewhere up high in the trees. The sound reminds me of shade trees and sitting near my grandparents' propane tank, watching the last Ozark summer sunset before leaving the next morning to go north to home, school. 

It's an evening fit for late September, not mid-August. The breeze is warm with only the slightest hint of chill. It's getting close to that time of year where I can literally taste the season's change in the air. 

It is the quietest, most unassuming evening I've had all summer. 

The boys officially start their lessons next week. They've learned a lot about civics these past several months. 

I tried to think of a non-dorky way to say thank you for the kind emails you've sent, but I can't, so just, thank you. That was so very kind.

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Dana asks: "Thanksgiving Traditions: Yours or Your Mother's?"